HARARE City chairman and ZIFA presidency aspirant, Leslie Gwindi, has been banned from football for five years for bringing the game into disrepute.
He was found guilty by a ZIFA disciplinary committee.
Gwindi had been charged with denigrating the Premier Soccer League and its sponsors Delta Beverages, former Sports Minister David Coltart, Zifa and former Warriors’ German coach Klaus Dieter Pagels who arrived in the country on a Government to Government deal.
Apart from the five year ban, Gwindi must also pay a fine of US$6000 within a fortnight of the judgement’s delivery.
In addition, he must issue a public apology to ZIFA, the Premier Soccer League and the flagship sponsors of the league, failing which he will be banned from the sport for life.
“Respondent is suspended from football administration in any capacity for five years of which one year is suspended on condition that respondent pays a fine of US$6 000 within a fortnight of this decision,” read the committee’s ruling.
“A further one year is suspended on condition that the respondent publishes an apology to Zifa, the PSL and the league sponsors which apology shall be published in two mass circulating newspapers within a fortnight of this decision.
“A cutting of the two adverts shall be forwarded to the complainant within three days of publication.”
Gwindi faced charges of contravening a section of the Zifa rules and regulations which deals with “misconduct, betting, bribery, bad language and conduct likely to bring the game into disrepute.”
The charges arose from the comments attributed to the Harare City chairman during his tour of Bulawayo in March last year.
Apart from allegedly denigrating Zifa, the PSL and Delta Beverages, Gwindi also faced charges of insulting former Warriors coach Klaus Dieter Pagels, who had a brief flirtation with the senior national team, in the final months of his three-year tour of duty in Zimbabwe.
Pagels came to the country on a government-to-government agreement between Germany and Zimbabwe and worked as Zifa’s technical adviser through the Olympic Solidarity fund.
Meanwhile the sanctions on Gwindi have been viewed as a plot to disqualify him from contesting for the Zifa presidency.
Despite convicting and sentencing Gwindi, Zifa would need to overhaul the manner in which they handle football judicial matters given that it has taken them nearly a year to dispose of this matter.Advertisement
People like Pagels and Coltart, who were allegedly insulted in what led to the decision to charge the veteran football administrator, are no longer in their respective portfolios.
Pagels has since relocated to his native Germany while Coltart’s term in government ended just before the harmonised elections in July last year.